When the Virginia Port Authority began its Green Operators (GO) program, the livelihood of independent contractors who served the port in drayage operations was put in jeopardy. That's when the Evans Network of Companies stepped to the fore. Evans helped its contractors by installing diesel multi-stage filters (DMF) on their tractors. The company did not charge the contractors.
“In our view, as their business partner, it is incumbent on us to assist them in the acquisition of this technology through governmental grants as well as Evans matching funds,” said Gerard J. Coyle, vp-marketing & agent development for Evans.
But to Evans, which transported approximately 350,000 loads in 2008, that contribution to being green is just a beginning. The company is working with the Port of Virginia as well as the Port of Charleston on a Clean Ports-Green Ports Initiative.
The results have been the installation of DMFs, plus the identification of diesel oxidation catalysts and crank case ventilation systems as potential fits.
Evans is a logistics provider with over 1,400 tractors in 80 terminals throughout the country. The company includes six divisions: West Motor Freight, All Points Transport Corp., Hale Intermodal Trucking, Century Express, Evans Delivery Co. and DM Transportation Management Services. Evans Delivery and West Motor Freight are both SmartWay Transport Partner companies.
According to Coyle, the company's fleet includes 500 trailers, both dry van and flatbed, with Internationals comprising 60% of company-owned tractors. There are also Freightliners, Peterbilts, Kenworths and Western Stars in the fleet. Most include Detroit Diesel engines, although there are some Caterpillar and Cummins powerplants as well.
“We estimate that the mpg improvements, just in our company-owned fleet, would produce an annual savings in CO2 of almost 1 million lbs.,” Coyle said.
The company implemented a number of programs in 2008 in an effort to save money and be greener, among them a driver training program aimed at fuel efficiency, electronic control modules set to a maximum speed of 65 mph, limiting idling to five minutes, and a tire management system to ensure proper inflation. Also, the company installed Espar cab heaters to provide heat without the engine idling, Andersen Eco-flaps and aerodynamic tractor fairings.
“We had a fleet of matched tractors purchased without aerodynamic fairing” for another application, Coyle said. “When that operation ended, we benchmarked the fuel consumption and then installed the fairing on a few tractors. The results were much greater than anticipated, so we installed the fairings on the remaining fleet.”
Evans also operates a program it calls ECO-Match. The goal is to match import and export shipments. “We believe that this situation represents an excellent opportunity for improving air quality and reducing highway and port congestion by utilizing our transportation resources in a more efficient manner,” Coyle said. “Simply put, use fewer trucks to transport the same amount of cargo by eliminating empty miles.”
Coyle said the company estimates a 50% match of containers could result in 350 million gals. of diesel fuel savings each year, cutting CO2 by almost 8 billion lbs.
“At the end of the day, Evans Network believes in being a good corporate citizen. To that end, Bert Evans [CEO & president] has made not only a business commitment to improving air quality but a major financial commitment with respect to our environmental initiatives,” Coyle said.